Journaling isn’t the same as keeping a diary that logs the things you do or see – it is a way of expressing your thoughts, clarifying your feelings and trying to find a sense of self, an exploration of who you are, where you have been and the person you would like to be become.
It’s a useful way of putting some order into your thoughts, perhaps helping to solve immediate problems that come up, it’s a way of putting it into a format that you can readily see. Its often also used as a way of working through trauma, helping to release some of the feelings, fears and thoughts that surround the events.
It’s not only just about negative feelings though, it can be about hopes and plans, observations, musings and dreams. Just the fact that you are channeling and finding a way to express yourself may help to reduce stress that you experience in your life. In fact there is quite a lot of research that says that stress reduction is one of the biggest benefits of journaling.
JOURNALING CAN BE AS CREATIVE AS YOU WANT IT TO BE…
Sometimes people worry that they are going to have to write pages and pages and that it needs to be carefully worded and all spelt correctly in order for it to count.
This is not the case.
Journaling can be written, typed, painted, photographed, videoed, sewn, etched, built – whatever way is most comfortable for you. If you struggle to write then why not paint your feelings, or start a video journal. Or perhaps if you are a dab hand at sewing, perhaps you could start a quilt with patches that represent where you are at. If you are a great gardener, could you create a new flower-bed with plants that have particular significance for you.
If you do like writing though then find a book that most appeals to you or some paper that you like. Find a writing tool that you like as well.
And just get started.
You could use it to write down favourite sayings or phrases that you come across that inspire you or that you alternatively don’t like. You can just write as the words come into your head. You can find fabric that makes you feel happy and make a ‘happy quilt or cover’ that you can hold at those times when you feel most vulnerable. You are not limited in how journaling looks or feels but the important benefit is to find a way of getting those thoughts out of your head and into some format that you can look back over.